Are you a Restrained Eater?

Are you a Restrained Eater?

Did you know that there are actually three different major types of eating issues?

There are eating disorders, disordered eating, and then something similar to disordered eating called ‘problematic eating behavior’.

One of the interesting types of problematic eating behavior seems to describe MANY of the people that I talk with in the nutrition world and many of my readers- they are called restrained eaters.

Restrained eaters are eaters who struggle with chronic restrictiveness- either eliminating foods or chronically dieting. 

If you are a yo-yo dieter or find yourself continually in the cycle of losing or gaining weight, you may be a restrained eater.

When restrained eaters are confronted with weight gain, they feel negative emotions which can then cause them to overeat.  They also feel guilt when they eat a food they’ve deemed “bad”.  Restrained eaters also have an obsession with body shape and weight and may use self-judgement as a tool to spur their weight loss goals.

Sound a little familiar?

In the paleo community, we eliminate certain foods for health reasons.  In other forms of dieting we restrict processed foods or calories to help lose weight.

Research shows that these things DO help people lose weight.  But research also shows that restrained eating can actually promote eating disorders.

Approaching weight loss from a perspective of restraint and negativity- the “i’m getting so fat I’ve got to lose weight” mentality, is a moving target.  Nothing will ever be good enough.  And when/if it is, it won’t last, because the way we get there is unsustainable.

Now, I know some people who do make restrained eating a lifelong change and feel great.

But there’s a difference.

These people restrict certain foods not because they are afraid of them (i.e. GRAINS and CARBS), but because they are making other choices that are healthier for them.

They are thinking about what foods they can eat to be as healthy, happy, and energetic as possible. They are approaching restraint from a POSITIVE perspective.

With these people, it’s not about eating as few carbs as humanly possible, it’s about eating how many feel right.

Of course there’s always the disclaimer that our modern world of processed, hyperpalatable foods makes knowing how many carbs are right difficult. And some people struggle with conditions like insulin resistance that make unhealthy carb cravings REAL.

But for most eating all whole, unprocessed food, there’s no reason to be afraid!

Research shows that these positive eaters have higher self-esteem and better long term weight management success.

My friends will tell you that they have an emotional freedom they never had before as well.

It just worries me in this day and age of “keto”, which is basically paleo circa 2011, being masqueraded as the all-powerful life changing, freedom giving lifestyle, that so many of these people are just restrained eaters on another diet.

25 grams of carbs is not right for many women.  It’s just not.  And obsessively tracking and counting them is just the kind of behavior that leads to chronic dieting.

How do we break that cycle?

It’s both easy and hard.

It requires turning to a type of eating called intuitive or mindful that focuses on listening to the body, to what it needs and what it wants, listening to the emotions that so often control us and taking everything in without judgement.

From there, we make food choices.  We don’t count macros.  We just listen and lovingly try to make each meal and food choice about HEALTH and NOT about weight.

That sounds too easy for most restrained eaters.  They want to track, count, weigh, obsess and ruminate.  I’ve been there too.

But the truth is, it sounds too easy because it actually is really, really hard.

A restrained eater is often not as self-aware or in touch with themselves as they think they are.  They don’t know how to navigate health without a map of good and bad foods to guide them.  The vast world of food choices is scary and they are afraid, above all, of gaining weight or staying in one place.

But it does represent a way out.  Still restrained?  Sure.  No one’s recommending you binge on twinkies.  That’s not the point.  A mindful body will rarely ask for twinkies.

But if it does ask for chocolate sometimes or an apple?  Or even *gasp*, a potato?  A mindful eater will eat, without self-judgement.  They will also probably choose more fruits and vegetables and crave less fast food.

Want to give it a try?  I made a program to help you do just this.  It’s called Weight Loss Unlocked and you can find it here.

Either way, I want you to know that I’ve fought this battle and I know how it feels.

I know the pain of those self-judgments and I can tell you I’d rather be the weight I am now, whatever it is, and be this happy and free, than be constantly angry and mean to myself for not being a weight that isn’t right for me.

True diet freedom is never having to be on a diet, even one cleverly disguised as a lifestyle, again.

Do you struggle with restrained eating?  How do you overcome these issues?

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

Tips for Getting Iron Without Red Meat

I have not a thing against red meat.  But many women I talk with do.

There are lots of reasons someone might avoid red meat- family history of colorectal cancer, ethical issues with red meat or meat in general, or just plain not liking it.

But a common recommendation for women, especially those with a history of anemia, is to eat lots of red meat (especially in the form of liver) for all the good iron.

Non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women actually have a daily requirement of twice the amount of iron as men!  Because we lose iron through menstruation, it is very important for us to makes sure we’re getting enough, lest we develop iron-deficiency anemia.

While red meat is a good source of iron, there are actually lots of other sources, some even higher in iron.

Dietary sources of iron include two different kinds of iron- heme and nonheme.  Heme iron is most often found in food and is much more bioavailable than non-heme iron which is contained mostly in plants.

That’s why vegetarians and vegans have so much trouble getting enough iron!  Even though they may be eating foods that contain a good amount, it isn’t well absorbed.  Phytic acid from grains and legumes and polyphenols from tea and chocolate can also reduce absorption of this important mineral.

But getting enough iron doesn’t have to be a red meat fest if you don’t want it to.  Below are several non-red meat foods that contain higher amounts of iron which you can try to incorporate more of.  You probably already eat some of these now!

Good Sources of Iron That Aren’t Red Meat

  • Organ Meats
  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Dark Meat Turkey
  • Chicken Breast
  • Beans (be careful if you are sensitive to these)
  • Dark Leafy Greens

Iron Supplements

If you need to supplement your iron (and many women do) first make sure it is ok for you with your doctor.  Iron overload is toxic to the body.

Second, try a good quality iron supplement (I like this one).  Typical iron pills you might get are constipating and cause nausea, as well as being poorly absorbed.  This brand is a great choice to avoid those things.

Many women also like to take desiccated liver because they want the benefits of liver without actually having to taste it!  This is the brand of desiccated liver I like.  

Consider also doing a lot of cooking in a cast iron skillet (like this one).  It will help incorporate some iron into your diet, plus it heats evenly and makes food taste better, especially as it is used over time!

Being in the paleo world, it is tough to find any advice that doesn’t center on eating as much as possible red meat.  I think we all got so burnt out on not eating it, we’re just psyched to eat steak again!

But red meat isn’t for everyone.  I have met MANY women who struggle to eat it because they just don’t like it.  I have met many others who can’t afford good quality and don’t want to risk it.

Whatever your reasons for avoiding it, I wanted to provide a little comfort that it is possible to get iron, particularly heme iron, in your diet even if you don’t eat much red meat.

How do you get enough iron?

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Do You Have Anemia?  Two Types to Be Aware Of

Do You Have Anemia? Two Types to Be Aware Of

Many, many women suffer from anemia, the most common kind being iron-deficiency anemia.

But did you know there are actually several different types of anemia?

If you are very pale, with pale conjunctivae, have heavy periods, or lack energy, you may have anemia.

The only real way to find out if you do and what kind, is to see your doctor and have a blood test run.  A good doctor will be able to discern these results to decide if your anemia is due to iron-deficiency, chronic inflammation or illness, macrocytic anemia or another cause.  

I suggest a doctor who works in functional medicine if you don’t have one you like and trust already.

For my readers, I’m primarily concerned with two types of anemia- iron deficiency and macryocytic.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia

This is the most common kind of anemia and can result from a diet too low in iron, heavy periods or even regular menstruation coupled with low iron intake, vegetarian or vegan diets, or low stomach acid among other things.

Iron is found in two forms- heme and non-heme with heme being the most available, easily used form by the body.  Heme iron is found primarily in meat while non-heme is found primarily in plants.

Vegetarians and vegans may be low in iron because they primarily consume non-heme iron.  Several factors enhance and inhibit absorption of non heme iron.  Inhibitors include polyphenols and flavanoids from things like tea and coffee, oxalic acid found in spinach, chard, berries, and chocolate, phytic acid from grains and legumes, and phosvitin from egg yolks.

Low stomach acid can cause iron deficiency anemia because stomach acid is where protein is primarily broken down for digestion.  

Those with low stomach acid typically take a hydrochloric acid supplement (like this one) that helps supplement the acid in the stomach to properly break down proteins and fats.  The best kinds are those which contain pepsin, an enzyme that helps digest protein.  I like this one.

For those with low iron intake, who don’t eat much meat, or who need supplemental iron, I recommend this brand.  It is easily absorbed and non-constipating.  Make sure with your doctor or qualified nutritionist that you need iron before you begin taking it as too much iron can be toxic.

Megaloblastic Macrocytic Anemia

Sometimes women suspect they have iron-deficiency anemia when they really have a different kind of anemia called macrocytic anemia.  Macrocytic anemia occurs due to deficiencies of Vitamin B12, Folate, or more rarely B6 which cause the release into circulation of red blood cells that are fewer than normal as well as large and immature.  This type of anemia can occur in vegans and vegetarians, those eating poor diets, as well as women with PCOS or the MTHFR gene mutation.

In vegans and vegetarians, vitamin B12 deficiencies are common due to a lack of the vitamin in the diet.  If this becomes chronic, B12 deficiences can cause macrocytic anemia.

In those with poor diet, sources of folate are rare.  Those who I worry most about are those consuming very high protein, low carbohydrate diets with very few vegetables.  Processed foods actually often contain folic acid, helping to avoid deficiency, but in an unprocessed diet that is very low in vegetables, deficiencies could occur.

Women with PCOS are more at risk of having the MTHFR gene mutation.  This mutation causes poor methylation of B vitamins like B12 and Folic Acid.  Chronically low levels of these vitamins can eventually cause macrocytic anemia.

For those with the MTHFR gene mutation, it is usually recommended to supplement with the already methylated forms of Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin (find it here) and Folate as L-methylfolate (find it here).

Consulting a functional medicine doctor can help you get to the root cause of these issues and figure out the next steps.  A qualified nutritionist can also help you navigate the interchange of diet and anemia.

Eating a diet with ample iron is important for women as well.  Look out for a post next week on that very topic!

Have you struggled with anemia?

 

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

How to Camp Paleo

How to Camp Paleo

I saw a facebook video the other day talking about Japanese Forest Bathing and how it had been shown to improve health and well being, even without any form of exercise.

The personal experience of myself and many friends and relatives can confirm this anecdotally.

Being out in nature is just better. 

It’s not just about the great Vitamin D, or the great hikes.  It’s about being outside, with the trees and plants, connected to the earth the way we once were.

Ancestrally, we probably spent our entire lifetimes mostly out of doors.  Even as recently as a few hundred years ago, many of our ancestors were farming people and spent a great deal of time connected to nature. 

Somehow along the way, we’ve lost that.

But it’s that time of the year!  The weather is just right and it makes sense to hit a state park and go camping.

But seriously, have you tasted camp food?

Or what do you do when your allergies make being outside completely miserable?

And WHAT ABOUT SMORES?

Here’s a few little suggestions to make your camping trip more paleo.

Camping Food

For backpacking, campfires often aren’t allowed.  If you’re using a camp stove but sad about the very non gut friendly foods available at your local camp store, try ordering some of these.  They are paleo freeze dried meals.

No guarantees that they taste good, but its better than the alternative!  Find them here. 

For long hikes when you need a snack, there are tons of great options.  I like dried fruit from my FAVE Steve’s Paleo Goods (find out more here) or even paleo trail mix.  Yep, it exists.   And this one’s NUT FREE!!!  Find it here. 

I also like this tuna jerky for something different.

For smores I get creative.  You can make your own paleo graham crackers and marshmallows.

But honestly, I just like to get down with an awesome chocolate bar from Enjoy Life (find them here) sometimes paired with these yummy cinnamon maple graham crackery things (find them here).  

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re spending lots of time outside.  I like to make sure I do that BPA free.

Here’s a favorite bottle of mine.

Keep Those Allergies Under Control

Allergies can make things tough.  I like these allergina drops.  Find the one for your zone and they can help reduce allergy symptoms.

I also like D-hist.  It is not an anti-histamine but does the job similarly to one.  I use this product a lot. You can find it here. 

That’s all for now!  Enjoy the camping trip and remember that many of the health and wellness benefits of camping come from the relaxation and reduced restriction and anxiety of modern life.  So if you want to fudge a little and eat something you don’t normally eat, let it go!  Enjoy the moment.  Times like these don’t come around often enough.

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

Filet Mignon with Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe

Filet Mignon with Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe

Today ButcherBox is sharing a super yummy recipe with us!

They’re also offering us an AMAZING deal this week, so scroll down below to find out more or click here

One of the things I LOVE about Butcher box is that its not all ground meat and cheap cuts.

You often get fancy cuts thrown in, like this filet minion.

The recipe below would be great for a filet but also would work well with the 2 FREE 10 oz. New York strips that are included in your box this month if you order by April 20th.  You’ll also get $10 off your box, by the way 🙂 

Filet Mignon with Sautéed Shiitakes

CUT NAME : 100% Grass-Fed Beef Filet Mignon

Servings: 4 Prep: 10 min Cook: 25 min

ignon comes from the French word meaning “cute” or “dainty,” and JJ Virgin’s filet mignon

recipe perfectly showcases a truly elegant cut that would make a perfect addition to a romantic

evening. Shiitake mushrooms perfectly complement the aromas of macadamia nut, tarragon,

and red wine found in JJ’s dish, originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook (Grand Central

Life & Style, 2013).

Ingredients:

● 2 8-oz ButcherBox filet mignon

● 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp macadamia nut oil (like this one)

● 1 large shallot, chopped

● ¾ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered

● 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

● ½ c red wine (or substitute additional ¼ c beef broth)

● ¾ c organic low sodium beef broth (like this one)

● 2 tsp coconut aminos (I like this brand)

● ¾ tsp sea salt (this is my fav)

● ivided¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the

shallots, and cook until they’re starting to soften, 1-2 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms and tarragon, and cook until mushrooms have softened and started

to brown, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the wine, bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute.

3. Add the broth and coconut aminos, return to a boil, and cook until slightly reduced, about

4 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper; transfer to a

bowl and cover to keep warm.

4. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel; add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and heat over

medium-high. Season steaks with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper

and add to the skillet.

5. Cook steaks, turning once, until medium rare, with an internal temperature of 120°-125°F

(about 4-5 minutes per side). Transfer steaks to serving plate.

6. Return skillet to the stove on medium-high. dd the mushrooms, cook until hot, about 1

minute. Spoon mushrooms over steaks to serve.

Don’t forget to check out the awesome deal from Butcherbox this week!  $10 and 2 free NY stip streaks added to your order.  Just buy a box by 4/20!  Grab the deal here!

 

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.

3 Reasons to Supplement with Vitamin D

3 Reasons to Supplement with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and one we are most likely to be deficient in as Americans.  Some estimates say anywhere from 80-90% of the population may have sub optimal levels of Vitamin D in the blood.

This is worrying because Vitamin D plays such an important role in health.  From reducing autoimmune issues and inflammation, to preventing disease, Vitamin D is a nutrient we shouldn’t neglect.

Here are 3 important reasons to make sure you’re getting enough, and even supplement if you are at risk for deficiency.

#1 Immune System

The major reason to supplement with Vitamin D is its importance in the immune system- with everything from upper respiratory infections to cancer.

Vitamin D has a protective effect on the immune system, helping T-cells and B-cells to to fight immune threats while also preventing autoimmune issues. 

Several autoimmune diseases (including Lupus and MS) have a high range of deficiency and supplementation with Vitamin D has been shown to improve health in these individuals.

Having sufficient Vitamin has been shown to reduce upper respiratory infections in both summer and winter.  Those with deficiencies of Vitamin D are found to suffer from upper respiratory infections much more often, even accounting for the seasons.  

Fun fact: before they knew about Vitamin D, tuberculosis patients were sent to sanitariums.  They were prescribed lots of sunlight which they believed cured the tuberculosis.

People have also taken cod liver oil for ages for its health benefits.  Cod liver oil is a great source of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D also reduces inflammation in the body, making it important for people with many health conditions like diabetes, infertility, autoimmunity, or metabolic syndrome.  

#2 Bone Health

It’s a well accepted fact in the medical community that Vitamin D is just as important for bone health as calcium because of the role it plays as a calcium cofactor.

Vitamin D helps maintain calcium homeostasis in the body.  That’s why so many calcium supplements now also have Vitamin D.  

Vitamin D promotes mineralization of the collagen matrix in bone.

Both women and men commonly don’t get enough calcium or Vitamin D through the diet and may need to consider supplementation.

Another important Vitamin for bone health, and still relatively unknown, is Vitamin K2.  Many supplements don’t contain all three and may not be as effective.

#3 Happiness

The last and best reason to supplement with Vitamin D is that it promotes happiness and emotional stability.

It is very common for people to feel sad, depressed, or anxious during the winter and to feel happier in summer.

Likewise, those who work outside or have ample sunshine time during the day report happier moods than those stuck in dark offices all day.

There’s something to this besides the fun of swimming and eating ice cream.

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is primarily processed through the skin rather than through food.  During the summer, we wear less and tend to spend more time outdoors, and this increases the amount we produce.  In turn, we get sick less often and feel altogether happier.  

Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with lower mood and decreased cognitive function.

Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it’s important not to take too much, since the body does store some.

However, Vitamin D needs range depending on specific conditions.  Recommendations for average adults age 19-50 are about 600 i/u a day to prevent deficiency.  This can come from sunlight, diet, or supplements, but it may take up to 1500 or 2000 i/u a day, depending on the individual, to keep blood levels about the recommended 30 ng/ml.

Obese individuals, those with active infections, or those taking certain medications may need twice as much Vitamin D.  Excess fat actually shuffles Vitamin D into the fat so that the body cannot use all of it.

Many in the natural health community recommend even higher levels.  They probably have a point since with the use of sunscreen, we may not be getting enough Vitamin D even during summer and food provides relatively little.

A Vitamin D blood test is relatively inexpensive and easy to order.  I’d recommend asking your doctor to run it the next time you have blood run so you can see where you’re at.  

Also recommended is to get at least 30 minutes of direct sunlight to a majority of skin per day.

If that’s not possible, I recommend taking a supplement like this one which contains Vitamin D, A, and K, all necessary cofactors.  Find it here.

Be careful if you also take other supplements or a multivitamin as these often contain Vitamin D as well and make sure you aren’t taking too much.

When looking for a vitamin D supplement, look for Vitamin D3, the form that is best absorbed by the body.

Do you take Vitamin D?  How has it helped you?

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So, just as a heads up - some links above may be my affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Doing so is no additional cost to you, but helps me tremendously. Your support is SO greatly appreciated, so thank you in advance if you choose to do so. Check out my entire disclosure to know exactly how things work.